Umi Sinha at Shoreham Wordfest 2018


Approximately 1.3 million Indian soldiers served in World War One, and over 74,000 of them lost their lives, but history has mostly forgotten these sacrifices.

Presented by Creative Director of Strike a Light- Arts & Heritage, Nicola Benge, in conversation with author and teacher Umi Sinha, who will read and discuss extracts from her novel, Belonging.

From the darkest days of the British Raj through to the aftermath of the First World War, Belonging tells the interwoven story of three generations and their struggles to understand and free themselves from a troubled history steeped in colonial violence. It is a novel of secrets that unwind through Lila’s story, through her grandmother’s letters home from India and the diaries kept by her father, Henry, as he puzzles over the enigma of his birth and his stormy marriage to the mysterious Rebecca.

This hour-long illustrated talk (from both fact and fiction perspectives) explores how the presence of Indian Soldiers hospitalised at the Royal Pavilion in Brighton between 1915- 1916 impacted on the city and the soldiers themselves during the First World War and beyond.

Wordfest is an annual celebration of words and ideas, held in Shoreham-by-Sea, just 10 minutes from Brighton. You can view the entire event programme here.

Tickets are £6 and are available here.